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West Nile Virus - message from the Health Dept.

posted Sep 27, 2012, 11:16 AM by Dianne Georgantas
Dear Parents:

Below is a message from the Health Department about West Nile Virus.

Important Information for Parents about Protecting Your Kids from Mosquito-Borne Illness

Information for Residents of Communities at MODERATE RISK for XXX

The Department of Public Health is urging residents who live in areas of elevated risk to take personal protective measures to protect themselves against mosquito bites.

•       Children are at greater risk from Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) than from West Nile virus (WNV).
•       Risk for mosquito-borne illness will continue until the first hard frost in your area. Hard frosts occur when temperatures fall below 28 degrees for several hours.
•       Use mosquito repellent any time you are outdoors, such as waiting for the bus, walking to school or during outdoor sports practices. Even being out a short time can be long enough to get a mosquito bite. Make sure to follow directions on the label. DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of age and should be used only in concentrations of 30% or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under three years of age.
•       Be aware of mosquitoes around you. If mosquitoes are biting you, reapply repellent, or think about going inside.
•       Be aware of peak mosquito hours. The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many species of mosquitoes. Take extra care to use repellent and protective clothing during evening and early morning.
•       Use mosquito netting on baby carriages or playpens when your baby is outdoors.
•       When weather permits, wear long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors.
•       Make sure screens are repaired and are tightly attached to doors and windows.
•       Remove standing water from places like ditches, gutters, old tires, wheel barrows, and wading pools. Mosquitoes can begin to grow in any puddle or standing water that lasts for more than four days, so don't let water collect around your home.
•       Avoid camping overnight near freshwater swamps to reduce your risk of exposure to mosquitoes that carry the EEE virus. If you do go camping, use a tent with mosquito netting and use appropriate repellents

For additional information on EEE and WNV:
Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH)
Division of Epidemiology and Immunization
(617) 983-6800 or toll-free at (888) 658-2850

For information on mosquito control in your city or town:
Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources
State Reclamation and Mosquito Control Board
(617) 626-1777
Or call your local Board of Health.